Republican state Senator David Brinkley wants to renew efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland. Brinkley said if he is reelected, he will introduce a bill that would not only protect medical marijuana patients from arrest, but would also address the issue of providing authorized patients with safe access to cannabis, rather than forcing them to obtain it on the black market.
Defendants charged with use or possession of marijuana can argue medical need as a mitigating factor in their sentencing under Maryland’s current “affirmative defense” law. But judges can still fine patients $100, even if medical necessity is proven.
“While marijuana is certainly not a cure-all, and can be abused like legal drugs, doctors should be able to prescribe it if they believe it will help their patient,” said Delegate Dan Morhaim, another backer of the measure. Morhaim is a medical doctor who serves on the faculty of the University of Maryland Medical School and the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University.
“Why should this drug be treated differently?” Dr. Morhaim reasonably asked.